Sri Lanka shares close up 0.5-pct

Jan 30, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan closed higher Monday, on the back of Friday’s gains but a strong rally at the opening petered out towards the end as investors booked profit, brokers said. “Foreign participation stood at 18.3 percent of the total market activity and at the end of the day foreign investors were the net sellers with a net foreign outflow of 314.0 million rupees,” Lanka Securities said.

Prices of banking stocks such as NTB, Commercial Bank, Hatton National Bank and DFCC rose sharply.

National Development Bank was the top contributor to the daily turnover with one big crossing or off-market private deal.

The main All Share Price Index closed up 0.53 percent (30.12 points) at 5,755.56, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 1.11 percent (54.40 points) to close at 4,976.21.

Turnover was 1.4 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“The equity market endured a volatile trading session today where in the morning session the market continued its rally from Friday. However, the bourse lost steam as the day progressed,” Lanka Securities said.

Selling pressure came in as investors realized profits.